Trump claims 3,000 people did not die in Puerto Rico as he defends Hurricane Maria response

Callum Keown
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Trump has defended his response to Hurricane Maria last year (Source: Getty)

Donald Trump has defended his response to Hurricane Maria and claimed 3,000 did not die in the storm which devastated Puerto Rico last year.

An independent study found an estimated 2,975 people died in the category 5 hurricane that hit Puerto Rico and Dominica in September last year.

But President Trump has claimed only six to 18 people died in the storm and that the Democrats padded the death toll to “make me look as bad as possible.”

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He had been criticised for his response to the natural disaster – power was only restored to some homes last month.

In a series of tweets, Trump said: “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico.

“When I left the island after the storm hit they had anywhere from six to 18 deaths.

“As time went by it did not up by much – then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3,000.”

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He added: “This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising billions of dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico.

“If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them to the list – bad politics.”

His comments came as Hurricane Florence prepared to hit the east coast of the US and people and businesses were evacuated.

Trump said the country was “completely ready” for the storm and warned people to be careful.

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